Missouri Southern is looking for more scoring from more people when the Lions battle No. 8 Washburn tonight in Lee Arena.
The Lions (4-4) have lost their last two games, and in both games they had only two players score in double figures — Cam Martin and Keryn Collins last Saturday at Pittsburg State and Martin and Stan Scott against Missouri Western at home on Dec. 19. MSSU had three or four double-figure scorers in each of the first six games.
Martin tallied 33 points — his third consecutive 30-point performance — and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Lions' 83-67 loss at Pittsburg State. He leads the MIAA in scoring at 25.8 points per game, and he's tied for fourth in rebounds (8.9).
"We need other guys to make shots and take pressure off him," Lions coach Jeff Boschee said. "A lot of his points (at Pittsburg State) were forced because nobody else could score. We have to find ways to get other guys locked in and make plays. Cam has made some good passes (team-high 26 assists), but we have not made plays."
The Lions have lost four of their last five games, falling to seventh place in the conference standings, one-half game behind Pittsburg State and Emporia State. The Hornets host PSU tonight and Missouri Southern on Saturday.
Washburn (8-1) shares the league lead with Missouri Western after the Ichabods split two road games last week.
Washburn knocked off then No. 1 Northwest Missouri 84-82 in overtime but lost 74-67 at Missouri Western, hitting 6-of-31 3-point shots. For the season they average 10 treys and 42 percent accuracy.
"They are a well-disciplined team with a lot of experience returning," Boschee said. "The majority of their key players are all returning."
Senior guard Tyler Geiman leads the Ichabods at 18.6 points per game and became the newest member of the school's 1,000-point club earlier this season. Three more starters average double figures — guard Jalen Lewis (11.6), center Jonny Clausing (10.6) and forward Drew Maschoff (10.0).
"Geiman makes them go," Boschee said. "Lewis is dangerous from the perimeter. We have to know where he's at all the time. ... Clausing is so much better from when he started his freshman year. He gives us problems inside. Cam needs to make sure he does his (defensive) work early and is not out of position. We definitely have our work cut out for us if we want to be victorious."
The Lions lead the league in rebound margin (5.9 advantage), and they are fourth in scoring (77.8) and field-goal shooting (46.3%). However, the Lions are near the bottom in 3-point shooting (33.9%) and at the bottom in turnovers (16.3) and turnover margin (-3.25).
"We're still talking about the same things," Boschee said. "We're turning the ball over too much, fouling too much and not able to make shots offensively. At Pittsburg State, the majority of our guys played hard; they didn't play smart. They didn't execute the scouting report, and Pitt State got some easy buckets. At some point there has to be some change or it will be a tough situation. They have to step up and be big boys and figure stuff out."
Some good news for the Lions, junior forward Christian Bundy is expected to play after missing the last game with a pulled calf muscle. Bundy started the first seven games, averaging 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 25.4 minutes.
MSSU vs. Washburn
MISSOURI SOUTHERN (4-4)
F RJ Smith, 6-5 sr. 4.5
F Avery Taggart, 6-5 fr. 1.0
C Cam Martin, 6-9 sr. 25.8
G Keryn Collins, 5-10 fr. 4.6
G Stan Scott, 6-4 sr. 13.9
F Drew Maschoff, 6-4 sr. 10.0
F Rathen Carter, 6-7 sr. 3.6
C Jonny Clausing, 6-9 jr. 10.6
G Tyler Geiman, 6-1 sr. 18.6
G Jalen Lewis, 5-11 jr. 11.6
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m.
Site: Lee Arena, Topeka, Kan.
Coaches: Jeff Boschee, 7th year at MSSU (128-65). Brett Ballard, 4th year at WU (70-32), 7-year career (103-62).
Series: Washburn leads 48-35, but the Lions have won eight of the last nine meetings, including 90-83 at home and 91-87 on the road last season. The Lions are 12-29 on the road against the Ichabods but have won the last four road games.
Staying up late: This is the Lions' first night game since Dec. 3.
Radio: WMBH (1560 AM, 101.3 FM), KSEK (1340 AM, 107.9 FM), KXMS (88.7 FM), 7:15 p.m.
Missouri Southern men's basketball career record book
Player, Years Avg.
1. Cam Martin, 2018-present 23.5
2. Taevaunn Prince, 2014-16 21.4
3. Terrance Sisson, 1993-95 20.9
4. Russell Bland, 1976-78 19.6
5. Kenny Simpson, 1990-92 19.2
Player, Years Pts.
1. Greg Garton, 1982-86 2,140
2. Jason Adams, 2008-12 1,981
3. Carl Tyler, 1980-84 1,902
4. Elyjah Clark, 2016-20 1,813
5. John Thomas, 1969-73 1,770
6. Cam Martin, 2018-present 1,670
Player, Years Reb.
1. John Thomas, 1969-73 1,536
2. Chris Tucker, 1990-94 952
3. Elyjah Clark, 2016-20 735
4. Jordan Talbert, 2010-14 731
5. Cam Martin, 2018-present 665